111 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K100 BATAVIA, 8 April 1948, 5.10 p.m.

Political committee met Wednesday afternoon to receive report of ad hoc subcommittee established on March 31st to consider working papers on United States of Indonesia and on 'general views on settlement of the dispute between the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia'. [1] The political Committee agreed on the following: (1) No agreement to be concluded before understanding is reached on all matters to be included in the agreement.

(2) Draft agreement will be submitted to both Governments.

(3) No signing of agreement before authorization is given by the two Govern-ments.

(4) No specific order of Credence in discussion of items.

Interrelated items will be discussed in parallel.

(5) Committee of Good Offices to suggest sub-committees (three might be sufficient) to deal with 14 items referred to the Political Committee by the Steering Committee. [2]

(6) Parties may agree on another method of popular consultation instead of views of the plebiscite.

(7) Both parties think federation and union should come into existence at approximately the same time while the answer to the question as to whether the establishment of Union and Federation should coincide was left to juridical theoretical discussion.

In order that the Netherlands Indonesian Union and the United States of Indonesia may come into existence both delegations will consider how far it is possible to combine:

(a) the determination of whether populations of various territories in Java, Sumatra and Madura wish their territory to form part of the Republic of Indonesia or of another State within the United States of Indonesia.

(b) the election of constituent assembly and (c) the election of representatives of the people.

(8) It is agreed that the United States of Indonesia shall be a sovereign independent and democratic state on a federal basis.

(The Netherlands delegation wishes it to be understood that the foregoing does not prejudge interdependence to be established in the Netherlands Indonesian Union.

(9) Participation and membership in the United States of Indonesia open to any territory in Indonesia expressing such desire by democratic procedure.

(10) The head state of the United States of Indonesia shall be elected by democratic procedure.

(11) The member states of the United States of Indonesia shall have a democratic form of Government.

(12) The constitutions of member states of the United States of Indonesia shall contain no provision contrary to the principles of the constitution of the United States of Indonesia.

(13) Powers of the United States of Indonesia in any case to comprise management of matters pertaining to (a) foreign relations (b) defence (c) the main economic and financial problems (d) Netherlands Indonesian Union (e) relations between member states (f) provision in connection with (a) to (e) above (g) such matters as will further be specified in the constitution on the grounds that they can only adequately be dealt with within the sphere of federation.

(14) The United States of Indonesia will, by its own organs of Government, promote general interests of Indonesian peoples as a nation and common interests of member states and see to all matters pertaining to mutual relation of member states to be specified in the constitution with due regard for other articles of the agreements.

(15) Rights of minorities to be safeguarded.

(16) Fundamental rights and freedoms as provided for in the United Nations Charter to be safeguarded.

(17) Indonesian education and culture to be promoted and developed.

(18) The Legislative Assembly will be composed of two houses, an upper house, or Senate, which will be composed of representatives of the member states on an equal basis, and a Lower House, or people's Council, to be composed of members chosen by the people of the several member states in proportion to their numerical strengths.

(19) The Constitution of the United States of Indonesia to contain safeguards for the proper administration of justice under the Federal Court of justice, which will ensure the observance of the Constitution and settle disputes between member states and other disputes to which a member state is a party. The Constitution will allow for special administrative arrangements designed to settle disputes.

2. It was agreed that a number of additional points required further discussions and that some points of detail in the working papers should be left for decision by the Constituent Assembly.

3. No agreement was reached on the following points:

(1) Authority during the interim period.

(2) Transfer of rights, duties and responsibilities by Governments.

(3) Foreign relations by the Republic.

(4) The date of the plebiscite.

(5) Territories involved in the plebiscite.

(6) The question whether the United States of Indonesia shall be a national state as an expression of the rightful self determination and self government of Indonesian people.

(7) Status.

Van Vredenburch endeavoured to have some of these matters discussed with the committee [3] immediately, in particular items three, four and five. In the case of Foreign relations he said that he was seriously concerned at information he had received over the last few days that the Republic intended to extend its foreign relations. (Burma is probably important case in point).

Roem. assured the Netherlands delegation that he would discuss with Hatta on his return from Boekit Tinggi the possibility of giving a guarantee that foreign relations of the Republic would not be expanded at least during the discussions, and his Government would not take any action which might prejudice the solution of the plebiscite disagreement. On the latter the Republican case, which argues that the plebiscite should not be held in Republican territory is obviously weak.

4. Although Van Vredenburch did not completely give up his demand for early discussions on the plebiscite it was eventually decided since only a limited number of matters had been discussed the parties should press on with further discussions as a means of widening the area of agreement and in expectation that this agreement would facilitate the solution of outstanding difficulties. In the meantime the Good Offices Committee will consider the matter on which the deadlock had been reached and seek to help in the solution of these with informal discussions with the parties. This procedure avoids a pressure on the Republic before full consideration is given to such important issues as the Netherlands Indonesian Union.

5. In the course of discussions Van Vredenburch made it clear that the Netherlands only intends to transfer sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia at the same time as the Netherlands Indonesian Union is established.

1 See note 4 to Document 110. The report of the Ad-Hoc Sub- Committee was registered on 6 April as S/AC.10/CONF.2/C.1/1.

2 In a meeting in Batavia on 24 March, the Steering Committee allocated agenda items to the Committees and agreed to create special sub-committees of the Political Committee.

3 A reference to the 13th meeting of the Steering Committee in Batavia on 5 April.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xvi]